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171. Beating Cravings Switch chocolate treats
If chocolate is your destressing treat, switch from milk chocolate to cocoa-rich dark versions (look for those with 70 percent or more cocoa solids). You’ll find you need to eat less to feel the positive effects.
172. Beating Cravings Enlisting help
Urge friends to text you uplifting messages randomly during the day. Your phone might just buzz as you are opening the fridge. Ask girlfriends to show up not with a tempting cake, but with some exotic fruit or flowers instead. If they don’t take the hint, invent a convenient allergy—wheat bloats you, sugar brings you out in hives…
173. Beating Cravings Shop sated
Visit the supermarket on a full stomach, and take a list—both strategies help counter impulsebuying and stop you from reaching for less healthy options with eye appeal, such as greasy pastries and fat-laden snacks. Shopping online from a saved list also helps you hold out against bad impulse buys.
174. Beating Cravings Herbal help
Herbalists recommend taking the herb kudzu to help eliminate cravings. In one study it seemed to repress the urge to binge drink. Ingredients in the herb are known to lower blood pressure, and may also increase blood flow to the brain. Kudzu contains estrogenlike isoflavones, which may be helpful in menopause. Consult a herbalist, a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or take 30–120 mg two or three times a day.
175. Beating Cravings Feel good alternative
Try a quick breathing exercise when willpower wanes. Close your eyes and cut out thoughts and external pressure by noticing your breath move in and out. When your breathing pattern feels calmer, imagine exhaling toxins and negative thoughts with every outbreath. On each in-breath imagine your body being energized by cleansing oxygen that brings with it a new lease of life.
176. Beating Cravings Aromatherapy fix
Place 2 drops of essential oil of grapefruit on a handkerchief. Inhale when you need a deterrent at the candy counter. The Institute of Aromatherapy in Toronto suggests this curbs cravings for sweet treats.
177. Beating Cravings Set short term goals
Take things one day at a time, focusing on getting through the next 24 hours (or if this seems overwhelming, then opt for the next hour) without succumbing to food temptations. Whenever worries about tomorrow or next month come to mind, bat them away and return to thinking about today.
178. Beating Cravings Treats matter
Reward yourself with a small treat for sticking to a healthy diet, such as a new lipstick or book, a plant for the garden, or extra minutes in bed. To keep momentum going, build up to a big pat on the back, maybe a shoe-shopping session, or a visit to a day spa.
179. Beating Cravings Avoid temptation
Remove easy temptation from your daily routine. Change your route to work if you can’t pass the corner store without buying chips. If you usually binge on cocktails at a girlfriend’s house, invite her out to a movie instead.
180. Beating Cravings Healthy pick me ups
Try one or more of the following, which not only taste great and are something of a foodie treat, but also contain valuable amounts of nutrients and health-enriching plant substances: a handful of collagenrich cherries; specialty varieties of apple (some taste like champagne); fresh or dried figs, which are loaded with minerals including calcium; antioxidant red guava.
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